Bici Vida rider Patrick Bevin hit a top speed of 66kph as he sprinted into the headwind and for the line in last night's A Grade race in the second of the BioSPORT City Criterium Series, narrowly beating last week's winner Mike Northey (Orbea Bici Vida). Northey's younger brother James Northey (Kiwi Velo) finished third.
Showing no signs of the injury sustained at the recent Elite National Championships road race, Bevin also won two of the five sprint laps. Team-mate Alex Ray won another two, making it four out of five for Bici Vida with Karl Murray (Placemakers) taking the other.
The teams quickly asserted their control over the race, dictating the pace from the front with the bunch clocking an average speed of nearly 45 kph. The Bici Vida squad has split ranks for this series (Bici Vida and Orbea Bici Vida), putting another team – and more competition - on the course, adding to Karl Murray's Placemakers team and Gordon McCauley's Subway team.
With only two riders this week (Gordon McCauley and Nick Lovegrove) Subway had to make a little go a long way. Speaking pre-race, "make them hurt early and hope they lose their sting at the end" was how Lovegrove described the task ahead, but despite best efforts, the Subway duo were eventually and inevitably outnumbered. We understand reinforcements are on their way for next week's race.
Racing within B Grade, the Elite Women's race was a small but select affair of seven with the in-form Gayle Brownlee a picture of grim determination as she lined up on the very front of the start-line. It ended up in a three-way tussle between Brownlee, Emma Crum and Kate Chilcott –, all of whom will be in Wellington later this month for the UCI sanctioned NZ Community Trust Women's Tour. The sprint for the line was declared too close to call, and first equal placings awarded to Brownlee and Chilcott with Crum coming in third.
Jeremy Turner, wearing a kit he wouldn't show his granny, declared himself "totally unfit" before the race, but still managed to pull something out of his fishnets and take the men's B Grade race, starting his sprint for the line some 400m back. Peter Knight (Bike 75) and Ian Randall gave it a good nudge but couldn't get around Turner, finishing second and third respectively.
The sprint laps were won by Richard Carter, George Scott, Aaron "Chickenman" Fowler and Lincoln Jackson.
With a full field of 61 riders, and an average speed of 42 kph, riders had to have their wits about them. An unfortunate wheel touch incident caused a crash in the last lap, delaying the start of A Grade but thankfully there were no serious injuries.
There was again a very encouraging turnout for C Grade, including 11 female riders, with the ranks further swelled by the Auckland Grammar school boy team. The race was won by Dan Pavis followed by Shaun Sexton, with the 14 year old schoolgirl Deven Hiley finishing third.
Race organizer Greg Pain was exceptionally pleased with the turnout last night, which saw 125 riders racing across the grades. "The B Grade race was particularly impressive, which despite the challenging sprint conditions saw some very fast and competitive racing. With a full field, it was great for the riders and spectators alike."
Grades are filling up fast so riders are encouraged to pre-register at the bioSPORT reception, 3 minutes ride from the race course at 119a Wellesley Street West, up to 5pm on race day.
Photography by Pete Bruggeman and Mead Norton (www.naturalstudios.co.nz) .
To view pictures of Race Two go to http://www.pbase.com/bruggersphotography
RESULTS – BioSPORT City Criterium Series, Race 2 (Thursday 11 Feb)
1. Patrick Bevan (Bici Vida)
2. Mike Northey (Bici Vida)
3. James Northey (Kiwi Velo)
1. Jeremy Turner
2. Peter Knight
3. Ian Randall
1 = Gayle Brownlee and Kate Chilcott
3. Emma Crum
1. Dan Pavis
2. Shaun Sexton
3. Deven Hiley (W)
bioSPORT would like to thank our sponsors and supporters:
Air New Zealand, Allpress Espresso, Cibo Restaurant, cyclingnzshop.com, Grace Lang Optometry, Hammer Nutrition, Sanctuary Developments and the Six:30 bunch.
Series dates: Thursdays: 4th Feb, 11th Feb, 18th Feb, 25th Feb, 4th Mar, 11th Mar (rain day)
Grand final and prize giving: Saturday: 25th Mar - to be confirmed.
Event Organiser: Greg Pain, bioSPORT
Race Director: Troy Campbell, Epic Sports
bioSPORT is a biomechanical training and physiotherapy studio in Auckland's CBD. bioSPORT specialises in injury prevention, performance enhancement and rehabilitation for cycling, running, multi sport, triathlon, swimming, golf and tennis.